Fast Pitch 2017

WOW, WHERE TO BEGIN? THE INAUGURAL TAMPA BAY FAST PITCH TURNED INTO AN AMAZING EVENING OF COMMUNITY AND INNOVATION. AFTER GOING THROUGH OVER 50 APPLICATIONS, 13 ORGANIZATIONS FROM ACROSS THE TAMPA BAY AREA  WERE CHOSEN TO PARTICIPATE IN A 2 MONTH ACCELERATOR PROGRAM, ENDING IN THE PITCH COMPETITION FOR $60,000 IN UNRESTRICTED CASH PRIZES. EACH GROUP HAD 3 MINUTES TO "PITCH" THEIR SOCIAL ENTERPRISE TO OUR PANEL OF JUDGES WHO THEN HAD 3 MINUTES TO ASK THEIR QUESTIONS OF THE ORGANIZATIONS REPRESENTATIVE.  


THE ENERGY WAS HIGH, THE FOOD WAS GREAT, AND THE DRINKS WERE FLOWING IN FLETCHER LOUNGE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TAMPA.  WITH THE JUDGES ASKING TOUGH QUESTIONS AND THE ORGANIZATIONS ALL PRESENTING SUCH INNOVATIVE IDEAS FOR OUR COMMUNITY, IT WAS HARD TO PICK AN OVERALL WINNER THAT EVENING.

AFTER COLLABORATING OVER THE JUDGING CRITERIA, OUR PANEL CONSISTING OF PHIL CASEY, ROCHELLE WALK, JAMES TULLY, TOM WALLACE, & JOE HAMILTON CHOSE ECHO OF BRANDON AS THE OVERALL WINNER FOR THE EVENING TAKING HOME $25,000. WHEELS OF SUCCESS TAKING 2ND PLACE WITH $15,000, AND GEMS PLACING 3RD WITH $10,000. THE AUDIENCE AWARD WENT TO STARTING RIGHT, NOW $5000 AND THE ACCELERATOR PARTICIPATION AWARD WENT TO TAMPA BAY HEALTHCARE COLLABORATIVE $5,000. 

OUR REMAINING PARTICIPANTS ALL DID AN AMAZING JOB PRESENTING THEIR ORGANIZATION, WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING HOW WELL THEY ALL PROGRESS IN 2018!

OTHER NONPROFITS WHO PARTICIPATED INCLUDED:

  • University Area Community Development Corporation, which administers a Prodigy Cultural Arts Program to help at risk first through twelfth graders;
  • Directions for Living, which is dedicated to providing life-saving services to residents through its innovative Peanut Butter and Jelly run;
  • Bright Community Trust, whose mission is to create strong and vibrant neighborhoods;
  • Enactus at University of South Florida, an organization that helps students develop their talents and make a difference in the Tampa Bay community;
  • Just Learn, k-12 learning program that seeks to expose students to the planet’s biggest challenges like urbanization and food production;
  • Keep St. Pete Lit, an organization promoting the greater St. Petersburg literary community;
  • Inspiration Labs, the legal name for Tampa Hackerspace, where members have working space, training and tools to develop their creative projects; and
  • The Well, which runs the WellBuilt retail store that sells and repairs bicycles to fund community rides, safety workshops and sliding scale repairs.
  • Tampa Bay Healthcare Collaborative  The Collaborative works to promote and advance the health and wellness of vulnerable populations through community collaborations.
  • Starting, Right Now  Starting Right, Now (SRN) engages a
    comprehensive, continuum-of-care approach to end the generational cycle of homelessness and poverty in unaccompanied youth attending high school in Hillsborough and Pinellas County.